Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call click here.

Jonathan Cherki is the founder and CEO of Contentsquare which provides a solution for mobile & web customer experience optimization. Jonathan Cherki has raised over $120 million for Contentsquare from investors such as Canaan Partners, Highland Europe, Eurazeo, and H14. In addition, the company has also acquired Clicktale and Pricing Assistant.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The three steps to launching in a new market
  • Why being a startup entrepreneur really isn’t harder than any other job
  • His key steps in ensuring successful integrations when making acquisitions
  • The approach to ensuring your company doesn’t outgrow you as a leader
  • The one thing he would do differently if starting over, and who he would hire



For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).

Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

About Jonathan Cherki:

Born in Marseille, France, Jonathan was destined to join the family dry legume supply business started in 1950 by his grandfather. Instead, he gravitated towards the digital space during his college years.
Jonathan Cherki started developing the technology that would become Contentsquare while studying at the ESSEC business school.
Eager to provide brands with an innovative tool to measure digital performance, he brought together the team that developed and licensed the Contentsquare software in 2012.
Since then, Contentsquare has received several accolades and secured the backing of major investors, enabling its global expansion. Today the company has offices in five cities and a growing number of happy customers.
The company has raised more than $120 million in VC and recently acquired its largest competitor to form the largest User Experience Analytics company.
Basically, they can capture how people interact with a site/app and content and, using AI, offer suggestions on how to optimize the site.
Contentsquare today works with 30% of the Fortune Global 100.

Connect with Jonathan Cherki:


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Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today we have a guest from Europe, just like myself. So really cool story. Also, a foreign entrepreneur that came here to the U.S. I think that he has a very interesting story around an incredible market that is growing like crazy. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest today, Jonathan Cherki. Welcome to the show.

Jonathan Cherki: Thanks, Alejandro. It’s very nice to be with you today.

Alejandro: You were born in the South of France. Not a bad place to be; especially in summer. How was life growing up there?

Jonathan Cherki: With my charming French accent, I can tell that I enjoy Marseille in southern France. Great people there. I was born in 1986. I’m 33 years old today. I moved from Marseille to Paris to do my business school. In 2012, I decided to launch this company. And you know what? It was a company I should not develop.

Alejandro: So you thought you should not develop this business?

Jonathan Cherki: Yeah. I should not because I should run the family business. My grandfather started 70 years ago. [0:02:46 – 0:02:52]. My father is working with them. My brother is working with them. So I should work with my family.

Alejandro: So you were growing up and being told the ins and outs of the business, and then you decided not to do it. 

Jonathan Cherki: I don’t know if I am a black sheep. But maybe one day, I will work with my family. But at this time, I was passionate about math and statistics. When I was at business school, I began with a student project that is today your life project. ContentSquare is only one company I have the pleasure to work with.

Alejandro: Got it. So this is obviously the one and only experience that you have, at least for now – an incredible experience. But before we go into it and do a deep dive into the story and the journey of building ContentSquare, give us the opportunity to get to know you a little bit. You were born in this family; everyone was fully dedicated to the business. What did you learn about business growing up in such a successful environment around business and family?

Jonathan Cherki: When you are educated in this kind of family, you understand the importance of values and the importance of long term, meaning that if you would like to make something unique, you need to have good values in term of team spirit, relationship with the people, and to think that you are not taking a business for five or ten years, but for a long term. My family business has been here for more than 70 years. You understand the notion of ambition and to make everything good, something that will have an impact and a legacy, and with a lot of humility. This is what I learned from my family that what I wasn’t using: the basic, the foundation of my first and unique company, ContentSquare.

Alejandro: Let’s go back to where you were in business school, which is what gave you the push to go at it. Can you tell us, what did business school open up? It opened your eyes around the possibility of being able to do it yourself and being able to do it on your own. How did this happen?

Jonathan Cherki: Business school was very useful because they have a structure with an incubator in the school. They help the entrepreneur learn this project. It helps to believe in your story. When I was young, I was educated to be the first one of what I am doing. But when you learn, you don’t know what will be the impact of what you are doing. It helps me to gain trust and structure in the project and to put a lot of energy in it. It helps me also to hire some of the first people in the company that are here today in the ContentSquare team.

Alejandro: In that case, what was the process of incubating the idea because you were passionate about math, statistics, but there was a process. You were talking about the incubator as well. Walk us through that process the moment that you thought that there could be something interesting around this, but the moment where that journey from thinking it was a cool idea to “I have to do this. I have to build this company”?

Jonathan Cherki: I remember the first question was more about the markets and the timing. If we think about the markets for a long time, the best way to win online sales was an acquisition. Make more people come to the website. At this time, you have Google with the search, TKO with the displays and the banners, Salesforce with CRM. The question of user experience and [0:07:33]. What happens is that the cost of acquisition was growing. It costs a lot, even today, to buy AdWords on Google. The market is going more mobile; 70% of the traffic is on mobile. But the conversion rate is low. You have a company Amazon that is presenting 50% of online sales in the U.S. So I have the sensation that this topic would be more important to reach because particularly at this time, my first idea was not ContentSquare. My first idea was to be able to manage the efficiency of advertising. We were viewing banners everywhere, but no one was clicking on them. So my first project was to develop and measure the efficiency of banners. I quickly understood that even if the banner is good, if the website is poor, people will leave. I would like to understand what happened between the display and the checkouts. That’s why I decided to carry this user experience and analytics technology. When I decided to analyze this market, I saw that companies like Google or Adobe were good to understand step-by-step where you are losing people, but not to understand why does a user leave a website? It’s a lack of stuff. You know who is [0:09:11], but you don’t understand what happened in the store – what is a journey of the people and what is important for them. That’s why I decided to learn this market. This market was a very small market, but I had the sensation that it would become the blockbuster market – the huge market for the future. It helps me to understand that and to understand that if you would like to be a leader in the future market, you need to be strong when the wave of your market will be. I am feeling especially because today our market is estimated at 8 billion dollars, and it is a market that is growing 20-25% a year. 

Alejandro: Very cool. How was the conversation with your family?

Jonathan Cherki: Families always want what is the best for you. They always want your happiness. They were here to support me, to help me, and to guide me because I didn’t have experience at this time. I never worked anywhere except ContentSquare. They have the pleasure to work with more than 600 people in the company. It helped me for them to advise me to see in a good way with a good value, with a good future. I think at the end if you would like to make something unique, that is an important basic as well as a support of your family.

Alejandro: 100%. I think that having that level of support, especially for the entrepreneurial journey, that support from family is critical because there are many ups and downs which we can talk about in a little bit. 

Jonathan Cherki: But even sometimes, it can be disturbing because it’s a totally different market, a different area, not digital. But I would say it helps to have a new and different perspective.

Alejandro: Because at the end of the day, it is still building a business.

Jonathan Cherki: Yeah. Definitely.

Alejandro: And it is still experiences, and it is still relationships, and it is still delivering on your promise to customers.

Jonathan Cherki: And that you are building a business. You are right.

Alejandro: In this case, you were now in Paris. You just came out of school and you had this idea you were executing. Rather than going the route of going straight at raising money, you did one thing that I’m seeing more and more entrepreneurs doing, which is to wait a little bit, re-evaluate the concept, the market, the idea, everything, and build it up. You actually bootstrapped this from one employee to 100 employees before you took the money from outside investors. I’m sure that this experience was tough for you because when you’re bootstrapping if you make one step in the wrong direction, everything could fall apart.

Jonathan Cherki: Yes, and I think it was a very good learning pass. If you think about the evolution of Step One, it’s to be able to have a good product/market fit and to go fast. I think I am lucky because I have the opportunity to have some fantastic people with me who are here today and who keep developing the company. They had the ability to be important here at the beginning of the company but also at the stage we are. That is rare. Most of the time, you will see that people who can do the job today, but maybe not tomorrow. I had this chance first to have these fantastic people to learn the company. From 2012 to when we began in 2016, we bootstrapped. From one person to 100 people as you said. From one customer to [0:13:27] customers. The customers help us to find the finance the cost of the company. We develop the product at this time. When we considered that we had a good team, when we considered that the product was ready to scale, when we considered that we had a good relationship with this customer, when we had already opened one foreign market – at this time it was the UK. We launched in early 2016. We checked all of that. We considered that it was a good time to accelerate the growth of the company. That’s why we had done our first fundraising with a Series A of 20 million dollars coming from Highland Europe. 

Alejandro: That’s remarkable because doing a 20 million Series A in Europe is probably one of the biggest Series A. It’s not like what you see here in the U.S. where people are raising more and more money, but 20 million in Europe is significant. So at what point did you tell yourself – obviously, you had this business. You were validating everything. Now, you were in a position where you weren’t building the machine, but more like thinking about speeding up the machine. At what point did you tell yourself, “It’s now the time to raise money”?

Jonathan Cherki: We saw that there was a huge opportunity to accelerate. We saw that the first customer we had was super happy, and we believed in the product. The product was working very well. So the question for us was a question of fast execution of sales and growth. At this time, we were viewing the market more and more. I would say five years ago, the question of user experience was not yet to be. For example, when you begin to see your customer asking more and more on this topic, focusing more and more on ovation, on content, on initializing. When you see them opening a new position on a job that was not existing at this time – now is, but at that time it was not – you have the sensation that you have to accelerate. I have to say that my ambition has come from my education, which was always to make something unique and to go beyond myself. My project was not to make a good company, but to become a world leader of this category. When you feel that you can check all these points, I think it was time to inject more money, but also to find a good partner. I think I am a lucky person because at this time, finding people like Highland Europe had the same sense of the importance of the people first and also had a strong experience in SaaS.

Alejandro: How do you do this? Because I think you are absolutely right. It’s not about the money; it’s about who is giving you the money. This was your first time around, your first rodeo, so it was still a steep learning curve with many things that you needed to learn either by having the right advisors or the hard way of making the mistake yourself. So how did you go about finding the right partner because here, you have Highland, a fantastic partner, but how did you go about understanding first what the right partner looked like and then how to find them?

Jonathan Cherki: First of all, to do it, you have to meet some of them. Then, quickly, you will understand which one you would like to work with. I would say this is more important today than five years ago because even five years ago it would have been more difficult to find the cash. There is more and more cash today in the markets. It’s also a question of finding a good partner for the future of the company is more and more important. If you have the opportunity to choose well, sometimes you can feel that you cannot fill his shoes – the one you will work with. When you meet them, when you begin to know them, when you work with them, you have some interaction, then you will continue to understand that this is a kind of person you would like to work with because if for the long term they have a good experience, they have a good knowledge, they can understand where you are at this stage, where you should be in the next stage of the company, and can they be a good partner to go with the company? You have two options. You can go with a banker. You can go by yourself. From my point of view, there is no secret sauce here. It’s more a question of when you have the sensation that it is a good partner. Go and fight for them.

Alejandro: Then, in this case, you got Highland as the right partner. Then you made the decision to move to New York City. Why did you do that?

Jonathan Cherki: Because my ambition was to become the worldwide leader this category. Most of our customers are equal. I would say today, 70% of our business and the biggest market in terms of equableness is the U.S. That’s I decided to move directly, myself, to the U.S. I would like to be in this market and understand this market. So it was early 2017.

Alejandro: I’m sure there is, in this case, a lot of people that are listening that are also in Europe or in other parts of the world that they know that eventually, they’re going to have to come to the U.S. The truth of the matter is, is that even in Europe, the largest fund – for example, in Spain, one of the largest funds is probably like 150 million. That’s peanuts if you want to continue to grow the venture because when you go into the growth-stage financing milestones, then they’re not going to have ammunition to be able to invest in you. So the problem that I see is that many of these companies end up in a position where they need to come to the U.S. to seek money. I’m sure there are a lot of people that are either at that point, or that may get to that point, or that are thinking about that potential scenario happening and coming here to the U.S. What was the experience like of coming and moving to the U.S.? What were some of the challenges?

Jonathan Cherki: You are right on what you explained. When you pick up a partner, it’s important to see the partner can follow the next step and anticipate when there’s a next step. It was a case with Highland Europe to participate. When you decide to move to the U.S., it’s not just a question of cost because it definitely costs a lot. You have to invest a lot of money to keep up this market because it’s a very noisy market. You have to make a difference. I will say, for the same job, the investment would be three times higher than in Europe. So the question is also a question about are you ready to go there? Meaning, is your machine working well in Europe, and working well enough for you to go to the U.S.? When I moved, I had the sensation that not only we had some good processes, but we had the good people in place to keep developing in Europe. When I moved here, I had the option to go to the West Coast or the East Coast. The reason why we chose New York is first: New York is a six-hour difference with Paris, so it’s easier to manage than nine hours between Paris to San Francisco. Point one. And point two, we were analyzing the market to understand, where are our targets? We understand that we have more target in New York than in San Francisco, where you have more B2B software and where we were looking for more equableness, fashion, retail. The West Coast is also an important area. We have an office in San Francisco. So I moved here with my charming French accent ready to learn [0:22:36] as a business in the U.S. When you move to New York, you discover it is a place where you have a lot of foreign people, different cultures from all over the world. But the first thing I discovered was that people are very open-minded. If they think you can bring value, then they usually open the door. They’re ready to test your technology. I was not expected to see that, but I had the sensation that this country is built to find a good opportunity. So it tends to go to the business when we arrive. It always takes time to find our first customer, which was almost six months. We had the pleasure to work with big names who learned the business and where the company was going. Also, I decided to invest a lot quickly. I didn’t want to be in a situation where I have the sensation that I was not succeeding because I was under-invested. That’s why one, we have something like 40 people in the U.S. 

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Alejandro: Got it. Just as a follow-up to that, and for a lot of people that may be thinking about it, how do you balance growth versus profit?

Jonathan Cherki: At this time, the topic was not profitability. At this time, my goal was to prove that the U.S. would be a good market for us. Having a new logo and good marketing and good visibility in the market, make a footprint even if it was small because it takes time. That’s why I decided to invest. Invest in people. I was one of the only French people. I came with some people, some friends – maybe not enough at the beginning because there is also a cultural gap between the U.S. and Europe.

Alejandro: Right.

Jonathan Cherki: Quickly, we grow the business. In this market, in the U.S. I think it’s important that the stage of your company ensures that you can go fast. The question of profitability will come later in the evolution of the company. 

Alejandro: At one point, you also decided that it was time to raise money and to find partners in the U.S. Walk us through that process.

Jonathan Cherki: Less than a year after I was in the U.S., my partner, my VC, told us to seek venture capital firms. I met three of them, and it took one and a half months to close this deal of 42 million dollars. So it went fast. As I said, the relationship between people is also important. Canaan, a U.S. VC led this. They have a lot of experience in SaaS, in terms of globalization, and they are today a good partner in the company to help us to be the world leader in our category.

Alejandro: Typically, when you go out and when you’re doing fundraising, the questions that you’re going to be receiving and the level of expectations or approach, there’s going to be a pattern. There’s a point where all the questions become the same from meeting to meeting. So in this case, what kind of difference did you notice from doing fundraising in Europe and the type of concerns or questions that they were asking you if you had to compare with the expectations, concerns, and questions that maybe you were receiving when doing fundraising in the U.S.?

Jonathan Cherki: I would say, in the U.S., they have a lot of experience in the software company. SaaS, at this stage, which I quickly understand is a company [0:27:02] in terms of ratio, APIs, structure. I think they used to do that well. I also appreciate the fact that when you are in Europe, and you come here, you build a U.S. team, more and more the notion of Europe and the U.S. is something that is disappearing because we live in a global world. You cannot be just American. You cannot be just French, English, or German. You need to be global in everything you are doing. At this stage, finding a good partner who can help you go to the U.S. to expand in the U.S. For example, in New York but also in San Francisco and the Valley was something super useful for me. They appear to understand more the future of the markets, and I’m very happy to have them and to keep on growing the company. I will say they grow faster also than in Europe because they used to analyze more and more companies in this area. So I appreciate the fact that the process went fast. At this time, you are driving your company, but it takes a lot of energy to raise money. So you cannot defocus too much; it’s very helpful. These kinds of people are very supportive, and they have the same ambition to create a huge and unique company.

Alejandro: How much capital have you guys raised to date, Jonathan?

Jonathan Cherki: Series B was 42 million dollars.

Alejandro: But in total for the business, how much have you guys raised?

Jonathan Cherki: So at the end of Series B, we have raised something like 62 million dollars. One year after in January 2019, we have done the Series C of 60 million dollars. In addition to a loan in Canada at the Series B, we had an investor Eurazeo and Holding14.

Alejandro: So the total amount would be then?

Jonathan Cherki: At the end of 2000, 17. At Series B, it was 62 million; 20 from Series A and 42 from Series B.

Alejandro: Wonderful. When you are at a super-early stage, starting out, in most of the instances – and there are probably many people that are at that point – is like it’s driven because you need the money. You’re running out of money. You’re thinking about having to give up and go back to corporate or something. When you go into the hyper-growth phases, when you start hitting Series B and Series C, for example, what are the triggers that are pushing at a board level to decide that more money is needed to unlock certain things? Can you walk us through that?

Jonathan Cherki: Yeah. It was exactly what happened between Series B and Series C. First, you analyze a bit of your growth. Can you keep on growing by 70-150% year-over-year? At ContentSquare, we were growing on [0:30:46] because that is the first point. The second point is about the retention and the churn. The goal is to be sure that your customers are happy. They see value, so you can have good return/churn. You can have good upsell on your existing customers. And after, to see if you are efficient in the way to go. For sure, when you inject money, you should be able to buy market share by doing that. But can you do that also by being productive enough? Even if the question of profitability at this stage was not the #1 [0:31:30] was not the goal because we are in a market where we are investing to take more and more market share. That’s APIs and analysis you are doing, and you are checking, you are working in the different [0:31:46]. Not just in the U.S. or in France. At this time, we have France, UK, Germany, and the U.S. 

Alejandro: That’s super interesting. In this case, how do you go about launching in a new market because it’s a different type of customer, it’s a different type of pricing? At what point do you understand that it makes sense to replicate a model into a completely different and untapped market that maybe you’re not as familiar with?

Jonathan Cherki: First, it’s a question of people. You have to find a good leader. I am a big believer in the relationship between the people. It’s not just an understanding of the people, but be sure of the market, but be sure you have a good leader and the good people towards the market. Step one is to identify a good person. Step two is to build the team. Step three is to be sure that you have a good process, you have an open mind at excellence to implicate or to adapt because you know the markets are different in each. In term of the sales, marketing, etc.

Alejandro: Got it.

Jonathan Cherki: An important point, also, is to be sure that you have the basic to have a full collaboration of culture geographic. So you can use the best parties and customers. 

Alejandro: When you have different offices as well, you also run into the potential issue of having different cultures in every office. How do you go about that?

Jonathan Cherki: Definitely. That’s why I think it’s important to overinvest in communication physically and literally so each office can communicate. You need to spend time in each office. It’s also important to be about to give up wanting. For example, at ContentSquare, we decided to do every year in January a worldwide kickoff where we take everyone from everywhere all over the world to be all together during one week to speak about what was the result of last year, and what are the goals and challenges we’ll have this year? It’s also an open form audience. We try to take live questions and more responses. Twice a year, we organize strategy meetings where we can have some progress initiative, and that is super important if you would like to build one team. It’s not easy. It’s a job of every day to be sure that we can align everyone on the same vision, on the same strategy, on the same courses. 

Alejandro: How many people do you have now, Jonathan?

Jonathan Cherki: Today, we have around 600 people.

Alejandro: And in how many offices?

Jonathan Cherki: Six offices: Paris, Munich, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tele Viv. We recently acquired a company named Clicktale in Tele Viv. We recently acquired a company named Clicktale who have an office in TeleViv.

Alejandro: You’ve done a couple of acquisitions and one of the things that is the toughest part, and I speak with a lot of entrepreneurs that think about acquisitions as well as a good venue to accelerate growth and that there are other strategic benefits to it. But without a doubt, integration is a beast. It’s not easy, and I’d like to get your thoughts and learnings on what you’ve learned about integrations.

Jonathan Cherki: That is a very good point. Integration is a huge topic. First of all, when we launched in 2019 after our fundraising of 60 million dollars lead by Eurazeo, an existing investor that we have; it went pretty fast. We didn’t have particularly mind-making to acquisition. And we had some good opportunities to accelerate the growth of the company. That’s why we have done first the acquisition of a company named Clicktale. They are 200 people, and it’s a high-level company. They are in the same markets and contents we are and emphasis on enterprise customer like ContentSquare and with a lot of comparability. Eighty percent of their business was in the U.S.; 20% in Europe. At this stage, ContentSquare was almost the opposite: 20% in the U.S.; 80% in Europe. So altogether we are about 50% in the U.S.; 50% in Europe. We complement strongly in terms of geographies, demographics in terms of France. They’re very good in software, in travel, in finance, detail, and luxury and fashion. They have a lot of integration with a lot of software. So notice that there are synergies between the two companies. There is always a question around the future to be sure that the futures match. It’s not easy when you think about integration because the first question is a question of people. We are sure that the people can work together, particularly when you are in the same market. It’s something we’re working on. First, I think it’s important to listen to people, to understand them, to understand what are their challenges, their aspirations. But also, to be able to move forward to reduce the period of [0:38:03] because when you are in acquisition or integration, there always are a lot of questions. What will be my job? What will be my responsibilities? What I will do, etc. So it’s important to reduce this period, but also to take the time to know each person and make it work.

Alejandro: Yeah.

Jonathan Cherki: At the end, when you have the same ambition to be the worldwide leader of this category, we notice here that we have the same willingness to make it in stronger comparatives. That’s why we see it as a good opportunity to combine our strengths altogether. Another acquisition is a company named Pricing Assistant, a French company with 20 people. Their company analyzes what is the change of the price of shop competitors, meaning maybe someone has done injury to your customer, Johnny, or your content, but maybe because your competitors think better prize, more modern, better reviews and they’re able to understand what happened outside the website with good pulling capabilities, product, matching capabilities. So we love the technology, and we love the people of this company. We see it as a good complement for our product to be able to analyze better the merchandising for our customers. In this case, because there were less people, the integration of people went fast, and we are focusing on the integration also about the technology. At the end, I think that if you focus on the integration of the people, of the product, of the process, there is something very important in this process of integration is not to forget one thing: your customer. That is a risk if you are focusing only on yourself, and you have to understand that your customer is a strong value that you cannot forget. So everything you are doing has to be built in the favor of the customer and not just in the interest of the company. That’s why we also took a lot of opportunities to meet the customer, to make a lot of meeting of the clients and to understand what they see as the value, and where do they see the benefit in terms of use case comparatives?

Alejandro: That makes sense. I think being customer-driven is the way to go. You see that, especially at an early stage where people go out, and they start building based on assumptions rather than building based on data. I think this is what you’re alluding to as well. I really agree with that approach, Jonathan. So one of the things that definitely is out there, and we all founders that we get to experience and we notice is that the entrepreneurship journey is not easy, and it’s not as glamorous as we read on the Press. Definitely, there are moments that are bumpier than others, and some of those moments are a bit greyish or perhaps darker. In your case, Jonathan, looking back, what has been the toughest moment for you in this journey?

Jonathan Cherki: I think being an entrepreneur is not easy, but I will say it is not any more difficult than with a job. Particularly when you find the pleasure with your job. You find a pleasure to learn. If I speak about myself, as I said, ContentSquare is only one company that has a vision to work with. First formalizing, first acquisition, first global extension. So it’s a good learning pass. If you understand the full world of learnings and the full world of discovering, it’s easier than expected. For sure, sometimes, when you finish your day, you can think, “What a difficult day.” And you can feel alone, but you are not alone. You are not alone because you have a [0:42:31], you have some strong partner that shares your vision and your ambition. You have also your family. Myself, when after a difficult day, when I come back home, I am fortunate to have a fantastic wife and great kids who remind me of how important your family is, and it’s also part of the company, but I can tell that I find a lot of energy also from them. Quickly, the dark visions that you could have will disappear. Even when you have a younger child, it’s not always a smile –

Alejandro: Or no sleep.

Jonathan Cherki: Yes, is happiness.

Alejandro: Yes. I hear you. Cool. One of the questions that I typically ask the folks that come on the show is, knowing what you know now – you’ve been at this incredible growth that you guys have experienced since you started back in 2012 and all of these acquisitions as well. If you had the opportunity to have a chat with your younger self, with that younger Jonathan that was still in business school and perhaps thinking about launching a business, what would you tell that younger self, and especially, what would be that one piece of business advice that you would give to your younger self before launching a business and why?

Jonathan Cherki: I love this question. I think if I would like to do something different, I would say that I have strong people with a lot of experience in your past. I think success is a mix of important people, with young people with a lot of energy, but also people who are very strong. I think the important thing people have to check – and It’s something I try to do anytime I’m hiring someone is, the people you are hiring today, can they do the job of today, but can they do the job of tomorrow and after tomorrow? If you have the opportunity to find this kind of people, invest in them. Whatever the cost is because they will be part of this journey. They will contribute to the growth of the company more than expected. I will do more and I will tell the young Jonathan even if I keep on being him.

Alejandro: I hear you, and even if our younger selves probably would not have listened, which is the case in most instances. One of the things here that comes to mind is when you were talking about growing the business as well. How have you been able to avoid having the business outgrow you as a leader? How have you transformed yourself?

Jonathan Cherki: If I think about that, I will say I try to learn from everyone. First, because I [0:45:42] because in myself in this department, so I think you can learn a lot from your peers. I feel that I have more and more skills due to them. The second point is that if you have in mind that whatever you are doing, you should learn from what you are doing whatever the impact if it’s a good or bad decision. If you can be honest with yourself, you will learn from the next time. At the end, look at everything we are doing is an acceleration of your discovering and learning. I don’t know if I am doing well during integration, but I can tell that I am doing my best. Be sure that we are going on the good way. I think it’s important to be open-minded, and not to consider because you are the CEO that you are right. It’s not. Even if your intentions are always good because they have to be on the interest of the company.

Alejandro: That’s very powerful because sometimes as the CEO or the Founder CEO, you kind of like drink your own Kool-Aid. You don’t listen, and you just get this stubbornness, and that’s where most people fail.

Jonathan Cherki: What can I say. Is there something I am missing? Is it not the energy or the vision, but maybe the experience? So if I can learn from any days or anyone, I will do it, and I think having humility with a strong mission is something also I learned from my education.

Alejandro: Very cool. I remember the founder of SockTalk, saying that he’s all about ambition, which is combining humble with ambition. So, I love it. Johnathan, for the folks that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?

Jonathan Cherki: You can send me an email: [email protected] or we can have a coffee in New York or in Paris or in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, all where we have offices when I am traveling. Anything you can help me to learn or discover would be willing.

Alejandro: Amazing.

Jonathan Cherki: Where there is a will, there is a way.

Alejandro: Amazing, Jonathan. So, watch out because probably with the people that will be reaching out, you may have too much caffeine from so many coffees. Really cool. Jonathan, thank you so, so much for being on the DealMakers Show today.

Jonathan Cherki: It was a pleasure to speak with you, Alejandro. Take Care.


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